Pakistani Woman Sentenced to Death Is Released

LAHORE, Pakistan, AUG. 22, 2002 ( A woman sentenced to death for adultery was released after the court established that she had been raped.

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On Wednesday, the Shariah Federal Court in Pakistan published the contents of the June 6 decision, granting the immediate release of Zafran Bibi, a Pakistani sentenced to stoning for adultery.

The Misna missionary agency said the three-page sentence explains that a woman who is forced to commit adultery cannot be tried, either by the Shariah (Islamic law) or the Pakistani Penal Code. The judges said that, on the contrary, the attacker should be the one tried and punished.

Zafran Bibi’s case prompted protests from humanitarian groups. Two years ago, she went to the police of the town of Kohat in the Northwest Frontier Province, to denounce her brother-in-law for raping her.

The police, however, accused the woman and her relative of adultery. A Kohat court sentenced her to stoning, in keeping with Islamic law, in force in Pakistan since the 1980s.

Several Pakistani women have been condemned to death for adultery, but to date none of the sentences has been carried out.

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